Last week I photographed Matt Stacey for my Bandmates project. As a founding member of The Boogiemen (Wakefield and surrounding area’s premier party band) Matt was responsible for giving me my first ‘professional’ gig, so I have much to thank Matt for. For instance, had it not been for Matt I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to visit Guernsey to witness the locals literally rolling around drunk on the street after we’d performed at Guernsey’s answer to Buzz Bar. Had it not been for Matt I wouldn’t have got to dress up as a real life Muskateer when we played at The Royal Armories in Leeds and, had it not been for Matt, I wouldn’t have got to play my guitar in the fantastic Chartbusters show (if you want some rock and you want some roll, who ya gonna call?).
There are a couple of things about Matt that I noticed fairly early on in our time working together. Firstly, Matt’s ability to pack the most gear into the smallest car. Before I joined The Boogiemen as the guitarist I’d occasionally do the sound for a couple of Matt’s other bands. On one such occasion Matt, in what I seem to remember was a Volvo 340, gave me a lift to the gig (at The Half Time Orange in Leicester if I recall correctly), into which we packed my flightcase full of shit I never used plus my headphones, which I did, Matt’s keyboard, keyboard stand, mic stand, amplifier, saxophone and suit bag… in addition to, wait for it… wait for it… the drummer and his drum kit. A very cozy journey it was too.
It was on this journey that I became aware of the second thing about Matt. Between Wakefield and Leicester, a journey of around 90 minutes back in the late 90s, I counted 15 cups of tea consumed by Matt. How big was his flask?! I hear you ask. The answer to which is, there was no flask. There was a travel kettle that sat on the dash and was plugged into the cigarette lighter, a 2 litre bottle of water, a two pint carton of milk and a tea caddy full of tea bags. No spoon required as Matt had perfected the art of brewing up using just the fingers of his left hand, while his right hand remained on the wheel.
Matt’s prodigious tea consumption continues to this day, so I thought it only right that I document it for old time’s sake. However, the travel kettle on the dash is no more, sadly. Matt has replaced in with a gas camping stove, which he places on the passenger seat instead. Obviously not while he’s driving, I hasten to add. Unless he’s stuck in traffic…